EMEA introduce a medicines database
A public database to facilitate access to information about medicines available in the EU has been launched by the European Medicines Agency. Eudrapharm is a long-term project to give EU citizens online access to information on all medicines — human and veterinary. Initially, the database will give access to information about medicines that have been authorized by the European Commission following assessment by the EMEA. These are mainly innovative new medicines intended for treatment of diseases such as different types of cancer, AIDS/HIV, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders and rare conditions — 'orphan drugs'. All of these 'centrally authorized medicines' are approved for use in each of the 25 EU Member States and also in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Gunter Verheugen, vice-president of the European Commission, responsible for enterprise and industry, welcomed the database as a "great initiative to provide consumers with more information about their medicines. This database gives people the opportunity to check if they are in doubt, which creates a safer environment for users of medicines".
EMEA Executive Director Thomas Lonngren commented, "once fully developed, this database will be the reference point for independent information about all medicines available to Europeans, no matter whether these medicines have been authorized at EU or national level".
The database includes the summary of product characteristics, package leaflets and the labelling of medicinal products. It currently gives access to information only in English, but translations into other official EU languages and improved search functions will be available at a later date. The agency is working with medicines agencies in each Member State and the European Commission on the long-term objective of including information on all medicines approved through national procedures.